Grace Church Brooklyn Heights
Name: Grace Church Brooklyn Heights
Address: 254 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Architect or Builder: Upjohn, Richard
Style: Gothic Revival
NYC Boroughs/Neighborhoods: Brooklyn Heights
Special Activities: Guided Tours, Lecture, and Self Guided Tours
Date/Time of Activities: Sunday 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
There will be a lecture on the stained glass windows by Robert Whiteford, author of “Hidden Grace: A Study of the Signs, Symbols and History of Grace Episcopal Church, Brooklyn Heights” at 2:00 and 3:00 pm
The stained glass windows of Grace Church Brooklyn Heights are especially notable for their beauty, history and diversity of workmanship in both the American and European styles. The three Tiffany Windows receive the most attention, but there are installations by the firms of J&R Lamb, Mayer & Co., Cottier & Co., and Jesse Van Brunt. The American style, in which curves in the glass and layered glass provide depth and detail may first draw the viewers attention, however, the skill and beauty of the painted detail on the European windows is of exceptional quality.
The windows have a place in American history as well. Tiffany asked for the temporary return of the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ window for display in the world’s fair. The rose window at the back is a replacement for an earlier window that was destroyed by a munitions explosion during the First World War. The ‘Ascension’ window was donated by a young financier just before he lost his fortune in a great American financial catastrophe. The windows include several that are thought to be of local manufacture as well, one of which was crafted by a Grace Church parishioner, while another was provided by the church sexton, or custodian. The Grace Church windows each tell the stories of the biblical events that they portray and of the people whose faith and love of beauty led them to make the large economic donations that were necessary to make the windows possible.
The church was designed by renowned Gothic Revival architect Richard Upjohn and constructed in 1847-1849. It largely adheres to the Ecclesiological Movement’s preferred 14th Century English Gothic style. The church interior is highly intact, featuring another expression of the Ecclesiological movement, a “structurally honest” openwork wooden ceiling, featuring early, circa 1867 decorative stenciled finishes, and exposed timber trusses with handsome Gothic tracery decoration. The sanctuary features figural stained glass memorial windows by many prominent studios, most installed in the 1880’s-1890’s, including three windows by the Tiffany studios and two by J & R Lamb; a window by Scottish and New York based Aesthetic movement studio Cottier & Co., and several windows by the distinguished London firm Clayton & Bell. The sanctuary interior and roof were restored in 2013-2014.
Two special, pre-booked guided tours highlighting the stained glass windows will be offered; Register Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sacred-sites-open-house-tour-grace-church-brooklyn-heights-tickets-34322946858